The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is used to recover the basis of most business and investment property placed in service after 1986. MACRS consists of two depreciation systems, the General Depreciation System (GDS) and the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Generally, these systems provide different methods and recovery periods to use in figuring depreciation deductions.
This part explains how to determine which MACRS depreciation system applies to your property. It also discusses the following information that you need to know before you can figure depreciation under MACRS.
- Property's recovery class.
- Placed-in-service date.
- Basis for depreciation.
- Recovery period.
- Depreciation method.
Finally, this part explains how to use this information to figure your depreciation deduction.
Your use of either the General Depreciation System (GDS) or the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) to depreciate property under MACRS determines what depreciation method and recovery period you use. You generally must use GDS unless you are specifically required by law to use ADS or you elect to use ADS. taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218232
You must use ADS for the following property.
- All property used predominantly in a farming business and placed in service in any tax year during which an election not to apply the uniform capitalization rules to certain farming costs is in effect.
- Listed property used 50% or less in a qualified business use. See Additional Rules for Listed Property, later.
- Any tax-exempt use property.
- Any tax-exempt bond-financed property.
- Any property imported from a foreign country for which an Executive Order is in effect because the country maintains trade restrictions or engages in other discriminatory acts.
- Any tangible property used predominantly outside the United States during the year.
If you are required to use ADS to depreciate your property, you cannot claim the special depreciation allowance.
Although your property may qualify for GDS, you can elect to use ADS. The election generally must cover all property in the same property class you placed in service during the year. However, the election for residential rental property and nonresidential real property can be made on a property-by-property basis. Once you make this election, you can never revoke it.
You make the election by completing line 20 in Part III of Form 4562. taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218235
The following is a list of the nine property classes under GDS.
- 3-year property.
- 5-year property.
- 7-year property.
- 10-year property.
- 15-year property.
- 20-year property.
- 25-year property.
- Residential rental property.
- Nonresidential real property.
See Which Property Class Applies Under GDS
in chapter 4 of Publication 946 for examples of the types of property included in each class.
You begin to claim depreciation when your property is placed in service for use either in a trade or business or for the production of income. The placed-in-service date for your property is the date the property is ready and available for a specific use. It is therefore not necessarily the date it is first used. If you converted property held for personal use to use in a trade or business or for the production of income, treat the property as being placed in service on the conversion date. See Placed in Service
under When Does Depreciation Begin and End
, earlier, for examples illustrating when property is placed in service.
The basis for depreciation of MACRS property is the property's cost or other basis multiplied by the percentage of business/investment use. Reduce that amount by any credits and deductions allocable to the property. The following are examples of some of the credits and deductions that reduce basis.
- Any deduction for section 179 property.
- Any deduction for removal of barriers to the disabled and the elderly.
- Any disabled access credit, enhanced oil recovery credit, and credit for employer-provided childcare facilities and services.
- Any special depreciation allowance.
- Basis adjustment for investment credit property under section 50(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.
For information about how to determine the cost or other basis of property, see What Is the Basis of Your Depreciable Property
, earlier. Also, see chapter 6
For additional credits and deductions that affect basis, see section 1016 of the Internal Revenue Code.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218238
The recovery period of property is the number of years over which you recover its cost or other basis. It is determined based on the depreciation system (GDS or ADS) used. See Table 7-1
for recovery periods under both GDS and ADS for some commonly used assets. For a complete list of recovery periods, see the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods
in Appendix B of Publication 946.
Table 7-1. Farm Property Recovery Periods
| || Recovery Period in Years |
|Agricultural structures (single purpose)||10||15|
|Calculators and copiers||5||6|
|Cattle (dairy or breeding)||5||7|
|Communication equipment1 ||7||10|
|Computer and peripheral equipment||5||5|
|Farm buildings2 ||20||25|
|Farm machinery and equipment3 ||5||10|
|Goats and sheep (breeding)||5||5|
|Horses (age when placed in service)|| || |
| Breeding and working (12 years or less)||7||10|
| Breeding and working (more than 12 years)||3||10|
| Racing horses||3||12|
|Horticultural structures (single purpose)||10||15|
|Logging machinery and equipment4 ||5||6|
|Nonresidential real property||395 ||40|
|Office furniture, fixtures, and equipment (not calculators, copiers, or typewriters)||7||10|
|Residential rental property||27.5||40|
|Tractor units (over-the-road)||3||4|
|Trees or vines bearing fruit or nuts||10||20|
|Truck (heavy duty, unloaded weight 13,000 lbs. or more)||5||6|
|Truck (actual weight less than 13,000 lbs)||5||5|
| 1 Not including communication equipment listed in other classes.|
| 2 Not including single purpose agricultural or horticultural structures.|
| 3 Any machinery or equipment (other than grain bins, cotton ginning assets, fences, or other land improvements) used in a farming business where the original use begins with you after 2008 and it was placed in service before 2010.|
| 4 Used by logging and sawmill operators for cutting of timber.|
| 5 For property placed in service after May 12, 1993; for property placed in service before May 13, 1993, |
the recovery period is 31.5 years.
To depreciate a house trailer you supply as housing for those who work on your farm, use one of the following recovery periods if the house trailer is mobile (it has wheels and a history of movement).
- A 7-year recovery period under GDS.
- A 10-year recovery period under ADS.
However, if the house trailer is not mobile (its wheels have been removed and permanent utilities and pipes attached to it), use one of the following recovery periods.
- A 20-year recovery period under GDS.
- A 25-year recovery period under ADS.
Water wells used to provide water for raising poultry and livestock are land improvements. If they are depreciable, use one of the following recovery periods.
- A 15-year recovery period under GDS.
- A 20-year recovery period under ADS.
Under MACRS, averaging conventions establish when the recovery period begins and ends. The convention you use determines the number of months for which you can claim depreciation in the year you place property in service and in the year you dispose of the property. Use one of the following conventions.
- The half-year convention.
- The mid-month convention.
- The mid-quarter convention.
For a detailed explanation of each convention, see Which Convention Applies in chapter 4 of Publication 946. Also, see the Instructions for Form 4562.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218245
MACRS provides three depreciation methods under GDS and one depreciation method under ADS.
- The 200% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period.
- The 150% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period.
- The straight line method over a GDS recovery period.
- The straight line method over an ADS recovery period.
The following table lists the types of property you can depreciate under each method. The declining balance method is abbreviated as DB and the straight line method is abbreviated as SL.
| System/Method || || Type of Property |
|GDS using |
|•||All property used in a farming business (except real property)|
| ||•||All 15- and 20-year property|
| ||•||Nonfarm 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year property1 |
|GDS using SL||•||Nonresidential real property|
| ||•||Residential rental property|
| ||•||Trees or vines bearing fruit or nuts|
| ||•||All 3-, 5-, 7-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year property1 |
|ADS using SL||•||Property used predomi-|
nantly outside the U.S.
| ||•||Farm property used when an election not to apply the uniform capitalization rules is in effect|
| ||•||Tax-exempt property|
| ||•||Tax-exempt bond-financed property|
| ||•||Imported property2 |
| ||•||Any property for which you elect to use this method1 |
|GDS using |
|•|| Nonfarm 3-, 5-, 7-, and|
| 1Elective method|
| 2See section 168(g)(6) of the Internal Revenue |
For personal property placed in service after 1988 in a farming business, you must use the 150% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period or you can elect one of the following methods.
- The straight line method over a GDS recovery period.
- The straight line method over an ADS recovery period.
For property placed in service before 1999, you could have elected to use the 150% declining balance method using the ADS recovery periods for certain property classes. If you made this election, continue to use the same method and recovery period for that property.
You can depreciate real property using the straight line method under either GDS or ADS.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218252
If you use a declining balance method, you switch to the straight line method in the year it provides an equal or greater deduction. If you use the MACRS percentage tables, discussed later under How Is the Depreciation Deduction Figured
, you do not need to determine in which year your deduction is greater using the straight line method. The tables have the switch to the straight line method built into their rates.
Depreciate trees and vines bearing fruit or nuts under GDS using the straight line method over a 10-year recovery period.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218254
If you elect not to apply the uniform capitalization rules to any plant shown in Table 6-1
of chapter 6
and produced in your farming business, you must use ADS for all property you place in service in any year the election is in effect. See chapter 6
for a discussion of the application of the uniform capitalization rules to farm property.
As shown in the Depreciation Table
, you can elect a different method for depreciation for certain types of property. You must make the election by the due date of the return (including extensions) for the year you placed the property in service. However, if you timely filed your return for the year without making the election, you can still make the election by filing an amended return within 6 months of the due date of your return (excluding extensions). Attach the election to the amended return and write "Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2" on the election statement. File the amended return at the same address you filed the original return. Once you make the election, you cannot change it.
If you elect to use a different method for one item in a property class, you must apply the same method to all property in that class placed in service during the year of the election. However, you can make the election on a property-by-property basis for residential rental and nonresidential real property.
Instead of using the declining balance method, you can elect to use the straight line method over the GDS recovery period. Make the election by entering "S/L" under column (f) in Part III of Form 4562.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218258
As explained earlier under Which Depreciation System (GDS or ADS) Applies
, you can elect to use ADS even though your property may come under GDS. ADS uses the straight line method of depreciation over the ADS recovery periods, which are generally longer than the GDS recovery periods. The ADS recovery periods for many assets used in the business of farming are listed in Table 7-1
. Additional ADS recovery periods for other classes of property may be found in the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods
in Appendix B of Publication 946.
To figure your depreciation deduction under MACRS, you first determine the depreciation system, property class, placed-in-service date, basis amount, recovery period, convention, and depreciation method that applies to your property. Then you are ready to figure your depreciation deduction. You can figure it in one of two ways.
- You can use the percentage tables provided by the IRS.
- You can figure your own deduction without using the tables.
Figuring your own MACRS deduction will generally result in a slightly different amount than using the tables.
To help you figure your deduction under MACRS, the IRS has established percentage tables that incorporate the applicable convention and depreciation method. These percentage tables are in Appendix A of Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218262
The following rules cover the use of the percentage tables.
- You must apply the rates in the percentage tables to your property's unadjusted basis. Unadjusted basis is the same basis amount you would use to figure gain on a sale but figured without reducing your original basis by any MACRS depreciation taken in earlier years.
- You cannot use the percentage tables for a short tax year. See chapter 4 of Publication 946 for information on how to figure the deduction for a short tax year.
- You generally must continue to use them for the entire recovery period of the property.
- You must stop using the tables if you adjust the basis of the property for any reason other than—
- Depreciation allowed or allowable, or
- An addition or improvement to the property, which is depreciated as a separate property.
If you reduce the basis of your property because of a casualty, you cannot continue to use the percentage tables. For the year of the adjustment and the remaining recovery period, you must figure the depreciation yourself using the property's adjusted basis at the end of the year. See Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables in chapter 4 of Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218264
has the percentages for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 20-year property. The percentages are based on the 150% declining balance method with a change to the straight line method. This table covers only the half-year convention and the first 8 years for 20-year property. See Appendix A in Publication 946 for complete MACRS tables, including tables for the mid-quarter and mid-month convention.
The following examples show how to figure depreciation under MACRS using the percentages in Table 7-2
During the year, you bought an item of 7-year property for $10,000 and placed it in service. You do not elect a section 179 expense deduction for this property. In addition, the property is not qualified property for purposes of the special depreciation allowance. The unadjusted basis of the property is $10,000. You use the percentages in Table 7-2
to figure your deduction.
Since this is 7-year property, you multiply $10,000 by 10.71% to get this year's depreciation of $1,071. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,913 ($10,000 × 19.13%).taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218266
You had a barn constructed on your farm at a cost of $20,000. You placed the barn in service this year. You elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance. The barn is 20-year property and you use the table percentages to figure your deduction. You figure this year's depreciation by multiplying $20,000 (unadjusted basis) by 3.75% to get $750. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,443.80 ($20,000 × 7.219%).
Table 7-2. 150% Declining Balance Method (Half-Year Convention)
| Year || 3-Year || 5-Year || 7-Year || 20-Year |
|2||37.5|| ||25.50|| ||19.13|| ||7.219|| |
|3||25.0|| ||17.85|| ||15.03|| ||6.677|| |
|4||12.5|| ||16.66|| ||12.25|| ||6.177|| |
|5|| || ||16.66|| ||12.25|| ||5.713|| |
|6|| || ||8.33|| ||12.25|| ||5.285|| |
|7|| || || || ||12.25|| ||4.888|| |
|8|| || || || ||6.13|| ||4.522|| |
The following table has the straight line percentages for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 20-year property using the half-year convention. The table covers only the first 8 years for 20-year property. See Appendix A in Publication 946 for complete MACRS tables, including tables for the mid-quarter and mid-month convention.
Table 7-3. Straight Line Method (Half-Year Convention)
| Year || 3-Year || 5-Year || 7-Year || 20-Year |
|2||33.33|| ||20|| ||14.29|| ||5.0|| |
|3||33.33|| ||20|| ||14.29|| ||5.0|| |
|4||16.67|| ||20|| ||14.28|| ||5.0|| |
|5|| || ||20|| ||14.29|| ||5.0|| |
|6|| || ||10|| ||14.28|| ||5.0|| |
|7|| || || || ||14.29|| ||5.0|| |
|8|| || || || ||7.14|| ||5.0|| |taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218271
The following example shows how to figure depreciation under MACRS using the straight line percentages in Table 7-3
If in Example 2, earlier, you had elected the straight line method, you figure this year's depreciation by multiplying $20,000 (unadjusted basis) by 2.5% to get $500. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,000 taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218272
($20,000 × 5%).
If you are required to or would prefer to figure your own depreciation without using the tables, see Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables in chapter 4 of Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218273
If your property has a carryover basis because you acquired it in an exchange or involuntary conversion of other property or in a nontaxable transfer, you generally figure depreciation for the property as if the exchange, conversion, or transfer had not occurred.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218274
You generally must depreciate the carryover basis of MACRS property acquired in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion over the remaining recovery period of the property exchanged or involuntarily converted. You also generally continue to use the same depreciation method and convention used for the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. This applies only to acquired property with the same or a shorter recovery period and the same or more accelerated depreciation method than the property exchanged or involuntarily converted. The excess basis, if any, of the acquired MACRS property is treated as newly placed in service MACRS property. taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218275
You can elect not to use the above rules. The election, if made, applies to both the acquired property and the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. If you make the election, figure depreciation by treating the carryover basis and excess basis, if any, for the acquired property as if placed in service the later of on the date you acquired it, or the time of the disposition of the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. For depreciation purposes, the adjusted basis of the exchanged or involuntarily converted property is treated as if it was disposed of at the time of the exchange or conversion.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218276
You must make the election on a timely filed return (including extensions) for the year of replacement. Once made, the election may not be revoked without IRS consent.
For more information and special rules, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218277
You must depreciate MACRS property acquired by a corporation or partnership in certain nontaxable transfers over the property's remaining recovery period in the transferor's hands, as if the transfer had not occurred. You must continue to use the same depreciation method and convention as the transferor. You can depreciate the part of the property's basis in excess of its carried-over basis (the transferor's adjusted basis in the property) as newly purchased MACRS property. For information on the kinds of nontaxable transfers covered by this rule, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218278
To make it easier to figure MACRS depreciation, you can group separate assets into one or more general asset accounts (GAAs). You can then depreciate all the assets in each account as a single asset. Each account must include only assets with the same asset class (if any), recovery period, depreciation method, and convention. You cannot include an asset if you use it in both a personal activity and a trade or business (or for the production of income) in the year in which you first place it in service.
After you have set up a GAA, you generally figure the depreciation for it by using the applicable depreciation method, recovery period, and convention for the assets in the GAA. For each GAA, record the depreciation allowance in a separate depreciation reserve account.
There are additional rules for grouping assets in a GAA, figuring depreciation for a GAA, disposing of GAA assets, and terminating GAA treatment. Special rules apply in determining the basis and figuring the depreciation deduction for MACRS property in a GAA acquired in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion. See chapter 4 in Publication 946.taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218279
When you dispose of property you depreciated using MACRS, any gain on the disposition is generally recaptured (included in income) as ordinary income up to the amount of the depreciation previously allowed or allowable for the property. For more information on depreciation recapture, see chapter 9
. Also, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.